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Special Education Teacher Salaries

Special education teachers enjoy the satisfaction of helping students and families in need. Careers in special education also provide good job mobility since special education teachers are needed almost everywhere. Even if you are not already working as a licensed teacher, you can earn your Master of Education Degree in Special Education (Teacher of Students With Moderate Disabilities) from Cambridge College. Many schools and school districts prefer or already require all teachers to complete a master’s degree program at some point, so why not boost your existing teaching career or make a smart career change into special education? Several decisions can affect how much your special education teacher salary will be. Do your expectations match reality? Let’s find out by looking at salaries and statistics for careers in special education in the greater Boston area and across Massachusetts.

What Decisions Affect a Special Education Teacher Salary?

Special education teacher salaries tend to be higher than general education teachers working at the same grade levels. So, if you’re interested in teaching but also want stronger salary prospects, then special education is the way to go.

How to become a special education teacher. Three ways to achieve your goals.

How Much Will Your Master’s in Special Education Cost?

Your degree budget is an important consideration when you choose from various special education master’s programs. Choosing the right master’s degree program is critical — before and after you graduate. Because state licensing regulations often dictate the academic content for teaching degrees, your decision hinges less on which college offers what types of classes. Instead, your decision probably hinges on which college offers the special education degree you want most affordably. The college you choose now can help your budget later because less academic debt means your salary after graduation can go further.

Cambridge College’s Master of Education Degree in Special Education (Teacher of Students With Moderate Disabilities) prepares you to become a licensed special education teacher, for lower tuition than similar special education master’s programs.

Earn your special ed master’s plus pay lower tuition makes your salary go further with less debt

Leveraging financial aid also can increase your return on investment for spending the time, energy, and money to earn your special education master’s degree.

More than 60 percent of Cambridge College students benefit from financial aid. Depending upon your current financial situation, you may qualify for scholarships and grants. You may also have access to educational loans and tuition assistance through state, federal, or employer programs. Learn more about financial aid from Cambridge College

What Age of Students Do You Want to Serve?

Based on national averages and statistics gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teacher salaries tend to be higher for those working with older special education students.*

Average and 90th percentile special education teacher salaries $58,600 to $97,670

Cambridge College gives you the choice to specialize your master’s degree in special education based on the age of students most interesting to you:

  • Teacher of Students With Moderate Disabilities PreK-8
  • Teacher of Students With Moderate Disabilities Grades 5-12

Learn more about special education careers.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017. K-elementary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm#st; Middle school: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm#st; Secondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm#st.

How Many Years of Teaching Experience Do You Have?

While it’s true that employers in all fields base salaries on a person’s level of education and years of experience, schools and school districts, in particular, often use so-called salary “lanes” to set standards for how much teachers earn, including special education teachers. Those lanes also consider years of experience or years working in that school district. In many cases, the simple act of earning any educational master’s degree automatically bumps a teacher into a higher salary lane.

Cambridge College welcomes professionals from other career fields into its master’s degree in special education programs. Rather than adding a second bachelor’s degree in education to whatever degree(s) you already have, it makes more sense to change careers with a master’s degree so that you start your new life as a special education teacher in a higher salary lane from the beginning.

Where Do You Want to Work as a Special Education Teacher?

 Special education teachers don’t all work in schools. In fact, those who choose to work in other settings often earn higher salaries than special education teachers working in a traditional school setting.

The top paying workplaces for special education teachers include the following:

  • Offices of health practitioners
  • State government, excluding schools and hospitals
  • Educational support services
  • Local government, excluding schools and hospitals
  • Other residential care facilities
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals*

Cambridge College’s faculty, students, and graduates create a welcoming and active network that can be a vital employment resource to a variety of special education jobs.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017).  K-elementary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm#st; Middle school: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm#st; Secondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm#st.

Boston Area Special Education Teacher Salary Breakdowns

 Below you’ll find average special education teacher salaries in the greater Boston area. Remember to factor in additional employee benefits. These additional benefits may raise your total compensation.

  • Kindergarten and elementary school special education teachers in Boston, Cambridge, and Newton make $71,470 on average.*
  • Middle school special education teachers in Lynn, Saugus, and Marblehead make $70,340 on average.*
  • Secondary or high school special education teachers in Pittsfield, Lawrence, Methuen Town, and Salem make $65,420 to $66,770 on average. A high concentration of special education jobs in these areas results in good job options, but also slightly lower salaries.*

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017. K-elementary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm#st; Middle school: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm#st; Secondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm#st

What’s Your Next Step in Earning Your Special Education Master’s Degree?

Because Cambridge College specializes in offering degrees to working adult students, you’ll find affordable, flexible degrees designed specifically for professionals who want to increase their salaries and advance their careers. Our admissions team welcomes your questions about classes offered online, in the evenings, or on weekends as well as tuition and financial aid or policies on transfer credits.

Learn more